children restaurantsI know everyone (including myself) hates to be told what to do, but there’s a reason that many people dread sitting next to people with children at a restaurant. An absence of social grace isn’t something that is specific to people with kids. But I’ve been a waitress for a long time – and I can attest to the fact that many people believe that dining with a child gives them carte-blanche to behave however they want.

I’m a mother, too. I understand how hard it is to have a civilized meal with a toddler in tow. I still believe it is really important to bring him to restaurants so he can learn how to act while eating in public. I just choose my times wisely, because I know what a pain in the ass it can be for everyone involved. I also follow some very basic rules that make the experience better for everyone.

I’m going to tell you a few of the things that drive people who work in restaurants insane. Maybe you can see if you are guilty of any of these behaviors. Maybe you don’t care. Don’t kill the messenger.

(photo: nito / Shutterstock)